Defining chaperone-usher fimbriae repertoire in Serratia marcescens

Martin Gonzalez Montalvo, Faviola Tavares Carreón, Gloria M. González, Hiram Villanueva Lozano, Inmaculada García Romero, Viviana Chantal Zomosa Signoret, Miguel A. Valvano, Angel Andrade

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Chaperone-usher (CU) fimbriae are surface organelles particularly prevalent among the Enterobacteriaceae. Mainly associated to their adhesive properties, CU fimbriae play key roles in biofilm formation and host cell interactions. Little is known about the fimbriome composition of the opportunistic human pathogen Serratia marcescens. Here, by using a search based on consensus fimbrial usher protein (FUP) sequences, we identified 421 FUPs across 39 S. marcescens genomes. Further analysis of the FUP-containing loci allowed us to classify them into 20 conserved CU operons, 6 of which form the S. marcescens core CU fimbriome. A new systematic nomenclature is proposed according to FUP sequence phylogeny. We also established an in vivo transcriptional assay comparing CU promoter expression between an environmental and a clinical isolate of S. marcescens, which revealed that promoters from 3 core CU operons (referred as fgov, fpo, and fps) are predominantly expressed in the two strains and might represent key core adhesion appendages contributing to S. marcescens pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104857
Pages (from-to)104857-104861
Number of pages6
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number104857
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the PAICYT-UANL [ CN885-19 ] to AA, and by the Medical Research Council [ MR/P022480/1 ] to MAV. MAG-M is recipient of a graduate student scholarship from CONACYT [ 486150 ].

Funding Information:
We acknowledge M.Sc. Maria F. Flores and M.Sc. José F. Espinosa for their expert technical assistance. Plasmid pSEVA246 was kindly provided by Dr. Antonio Ibarra. S. marcescens SmUNAM836 was kindly provided by Dr. Maria del R. Morales. S. marcescens Db10 was provided by the CGC, which is funded by NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology


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